tv BBC World News America WHUT August 15, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
what can we do for you? >> and now, "bbc world news american." >> this is bbc world news america, reporting from washington. target tripoli. rebel forces advance on the capital. is this the turning point in the five-month conflict? former egyptian president mubarak appears in court. outside, tensions are still high between opponents and supporters. >> dealing with the mubarak legacy is going to shake the society in this country. at the moment, egyptians are divided and very uncertain about where things should go. >> shifting into high gear, president obama heads to the midwest to top jobs, just as
republicans are running hard to take his. it is time to free libya from traders. that was the message colonel gaddafi delivered today, over a telephone line from an undisclosed location. even as he spoke, rebel forces advanced into towns that control access to tripoli. zawiya is to the west. if the coastal town falls, rebels will control the main supply route from tunisia to tripoli. >> tripoli is starting to feel like a city under siege. the power cuts are taking their toll. this family brought out the
candles, and then their certificates. weapons training, provided by the government to loyal men and women. >> i am ready to take up a gun, ready to defend my country and gaddafi, who has done so much good for us. >> outside, gaddafi agents were on alert. as we left, we and our government minders were stopped. they took our libyan permits as armed loyalists and checked every vehicle. >> this checkpoint we have been stopped at is manned by local people. we are told there are a similar checkpoints across tripoli during the night. it is here because of the war, and it is a sign of tensions in the capital right now. this has only increased the tensions. 30 miles to the west, rebel forces are celebrating an advance on xawiya.
the opposition feels the momentum is finally firmly with them. but how much they hold, and how long they can hold it for, is unclear. libyan state television showed crowds cheering as colonel gaddafi addressed them, audio only, on a crackly telephone line. he called on supporters to prepare for the fight. cleanse the country, he said. the blood of martyrs will fuel the battle. out in the desolate housing estates of eastern tripoli, the mood was different. they were worried about our camera, so we blurred pictures. this man told me gaddafi must go. now listen to this man's anchor -- anger. >> we hate gaddafi. >> everyone?
>> everyone. >> it is hard to gauge how many agree. the rebels are closer to tripoli than ever. the army will fight back. this war may have entered a decisive phase. >> as the war rages in libya, in syria thousands of palestinian refugees have been forced to flee their camp after it came under heavy fire from government forces bombarding the port city. the u.s. spokesman told the bbc at least four people have been killed. >> syria's main port city. army tanks deployed to quell protests. the u.n. says gunboats are even firing from the sea. but with a target this time that has caused even more outraged, the palestinian reggie camp where between 5000 and 10,000
people have fled, according to a u.n. spokesman. >> they are painting a disturbing picture of what is happening in the camp. the camp is home to 10,000 palestinian refugees. more than half have fled. some were told to leave by syrians. others simply fled. we have no idea where the people are, how many are wounded, dying, elderly, our children. >> syria denies the use of gunboats, saying its troops have been fighting a ground battle with gunmen in the city. protests also continue elsewhere. these pictures are believed to be from homs, and these from derra. five months of rebellion and repression. fraise condemnation from jordan has urged syria to listen to reason. and particularly strong from
turkey, saying military operations against civilians must and immediately and unconditionally. bbc news. >> from syria to egypt. today there were protests outside the court and chaos within at the second appearance of former egyptian president hosni mubarak. the 82-year-old was brought in on a stretcher and kept in a cage with his sons. they stand trial for the killing of protesters during february's uprising. struggling to keep order, the judge adjourned the hearing for three weeks, and ruled that future proceedings will not be televised. our middle east editor reports. >> the trial is at what used to be called the mubarak police academy on the edge of cairo. the police were expecting trouble. so were mubarak opponents, who brought their own rocks. the former president's supporters were on the other side of police lines.
we don't want mubarak humiliated, she said. that humiliates all egyptians. he was wheeled in, old and ill. this has been compulsive tv across the arab world. one of his sons, once a prince of the regime, now in prison whites, tried to spoil the fun. there are more than 100 unruly, noisy lawyers. mubarak's sons are still trying to shield his bed from the cameras. they identified themselves and denied the corruption charges. mubarak senior denies the moment -- the murder of protesters, which carries the death penalty. outside, enemies with it. >> mubarak everyday killer. now we want to kill mubarak. we want to protect our lives. >> then, the riots started.
the egyptian police waded in, but that could not stop the pro and anti mubarak people trading rocks and fists. a lot of hatred was stored up in the mubarak years. this is a big test for the new leadership, dealing with the mubarak legacy. it will shape the society that emerges in this country. at the moment, egyptians are divided and uncertain about the way things should go. the police are widely disliked here, because for decades they were regime enforcers. it will anger many egyptians to see them using their old skills. >> all the police are criminals.
>> after today, cameras will be banned from the court room, seemingly to stop lawyers showing off. some egyptians will smell a cover-up. the trial is still an achievement for egypt's revolutionaries, a distraction in an unhappy country. bbc news, cairo. >> from the mubarak trial in egypt to the struggles which continue in libya and syria, the arab spring has morphed into more than the initial protests. where is the movement headed and what role should the international community play? those are the topics arrest by the "washington post" contributing editor. there was a temptation when this started to say it would be dramatic and speedy change in the middle east. you write the springtime of glory becomes a summer of the summer. >> you see in egypt the beginnings of what could be a counterrevolution. you see in libya what i think is
the beginning of the end of a bloody civil war. civil wars tend to and rapidly, like a balloon being correct. you do not know when that prick is going to come. but the losing side, in this case i believe the gaddafi side, goes very quickly. people get afraid in desert. there is nothing left. syria is perhaps the most dangerous conflict. there you see lines being drawn. when the king of saudi arabia came out and essentially denounced the syrian government for killing sunnis in the streets, the syrian government, which is aligned with iran, a shiite power -- you see potential for sectarian conflict. that is why syria is the most difficult and dangerous. >> it is different in different countries, but you seem to suggest we have reached a point
where the revolution and the hope is stalled. what should the west do to make sure that stalling does not last long? >> the obama administration has gotten a couple of big things right in the different conflicts that form this revolution. they have waited and kept american strength in reserve, encouraging the europeans, the british and the french, to go into libya, which is a strategic issue for europe, but not the united states. they have reserved american strength to be applied in egypt, syria, and the gulf, which is the big prize. they have to be on the side of democracy, the side of democratic protesters who brought about the revolution in egypt. we should see more western support for those protesters and activists as they come under increasing pressure, as we saw in your film today, from the
government, which is really the army. >> dozen serious suggest a limit on what the west can do? -- doesn't serious suggest a limit on what the west can do? >> we have more influence with the egyptian military. we do have influence. we can use it. the army is the power in egypt. in syria, what we can do in a direct fashion is still considerable -- economic sanctions, denouncing assad, making bright those lines of dishonor. >> thank you for coming in. i am sure this will be with us for a while. in iraq today, bomb blasts ripped through more than a dozen cities, leaving at least 60 dead. it is the country's worst day of violence in over a year. it comes as a rocky politicians are under pressure from washington -- it comes as iraqi
politicians are under pressure from washington to decide whether american troops should stay. >> two bombs within minutes of each other -- first a roadside device in the city center, and then a car bomb when security forces arrived. there were at least five blasts in another province, at least 10 dead. in tikrit, they targeted a counter-terrorism unit. the prime minister went to school here. in baghdad, a blast was aimed at pping in the capital. >> what is the result? he is not a politician or an official. he is just a shop owner. >> this comes two weeks after politicians agreed to hold negotiations over whether a small number of u.s. troops might stay in to 2012. the deadline for their departure
was meant to be the end of this year. officials from both countries are concerned about whether iraq's forces are strong enough to protect this land alone. so far, no one has claimed responsibility for the latest attacks. authorities blame al qaeda affiliates intend on destabilizing the government. although they are part of a flurry of violence across the country, it is more peaceful now compared to five years ago. >> for more on today's deadly outbreak, i spoke with a retired u.s. army general. my understanding has been that al qaeda in iraq is severely diminished, yet these attacks suggest a high level of sophistication. >> there clearly is coordination taking place when you can have this number of attacks with this type of result in cities throughout the country. we are talking from north to
south, east to west, all the way up to mosul. this tells you the iraqis have a long way to go in terms of their ability to crack into the networks that exist that can pull this off. >> networks are clearly still there. it is not be diminished force we thought it was. >> i would suggest the networks are in place. they have revealed themselves. i doubt you would see an immediate repeat of this in the near future. when you have an event like this, you have exposed yourself. security forces and military forces are digging in to what cracks exist as a result of this. >> the americans have said they have offered to keep another 10,000 forces there beyond december 31. not a big amount. will it make a difference in this kind of scenario? >> it depends what those forces
look like. i would suggest -- without having an inside scoop, i will tell you intelligence forces will be able to share access to u.s. and nationals just a mouse -- national systems. you will have special forces capability to do something quickly against targets. >> is the discussion about u.s. forces a red herring? this reveals the weakness of the iraqi government and the domestic structure. >> let us be honest. the government has only been in place six years. it is still maturing. it has a long way to go. the united states is not going to carry this burden much longer. they are going to be part of the landscape for some time to come. >> in one note from the business world, internet giant google has
announced a deal to buy motorola mobility for $12.50 billion. a joint statement said both companies unanimously approved the deal, which should be completed by the end of this year or early next year. earlier this year, motorola split into two separate companies. see you in iowa. as the u.s. presidential election approaches, candidates had to a state which is already proving make or break. contracted less than expected in the last quarter, showing stronger signs of recovery from the deadly earthquake and tsunami which hit the country in march. our tokyo correspondent reports. >> it is a sign of how bad japan's economy has been that the stock market rose on confirmation it is still in recession. the contraction was 0.3%,
nothing like as severe as had been feared. the country could be well on its way to recovery. the earthquake in tsunami in march battered japanese factories. with much of the northeast coast destroyed, manufacturers could not get critical components and parts that were made there. production is getting back on track more rapidly than expected. the supply chain is gradually recovering, as well as an reconstruction related projects. we believe the later half of this year will see relatively high growth. >> after explosions and radiation leaks, the fukushima nuclear plant is still casting a shadow over the economy. japanese workers have gotten used to hot offices, one effect of electricity shortages. reactors around the country are shut down because of safety fears. the strength of the yen threatens to stifle japan's
recovery before it can get under way. the currency is approaching its highest levels against the dollar since the second world war. that hurts the exporters japan has relied on for growth. japan's government has been hinting it may intervene in the currency market again. some said the problem is not that the yen is strong, but the dollar enduro are weak. there is little japan can do about that. bbc news, tokyo. >> there is more than a year to go until the next u.s. presidential election, but this has been a dramatic couple of days in politics. president obama took to the road for a swing through the midwest. his rivals are staking out their positions in iowa. >> it can be a ponderous business when the president goes
on a campaign. his bus tour through three states is his first in office. this monster looks like a vehicle headed for a real battle. there are cheers here, but many now w blame him for the poor economic recovery. he says it is the fault of republicans in congress blocking his ideas. >> we could be rebuilding roads, bridges, schools, and parks across america right now. >> the president is in trouble, his reelection by no means a certainty. his approval rating was 68% when he took office, and slipped below 40% for the first time. unemployment was around 7% when he became president, now more than 9%. america has always had a aaa rating from standard and poor's, but has been downgraded. >> the road ahead is darkness.
>> republican ads have been quick to attack him. >> in minnesota, 19,000 manufacturing and 19,000 construction jobs have been lost. >> the race to take on obama has sharpened. texas governor rick perry is socially conservative and will focus on his creation of jobs in his own state. >> we need to be focused on getting our economy working again. i have a track record on doing that. >> at the same event, congresswoman michele bachman, an evangelical christian and strong social conservative -- she and perry will be supporting -- will be fighting each other for far-right supporters. mitt romney is still the candidate to beat. the competition has a long way to go. on the republican side, it looks
like a three horse race. senior party figures are worried. they are worried that none of the three available are up to it. bbc news, washington. >> while u.s. politicians grapple over who has economic answers, it is a discussion happening across europe as well. for more on the factors at play, i am joined by justice giglets -- by joseph siglitz -- stiglitz from columbia university. the see the kind of policies american needs to reverse the unemployment rate? >> obama has some ideas that i think will make a difference. i think the republican candidates will make a difference, but for the worse. it is amazing how people have
forgotten what happened from 2000 through 2008, when the country ran huge deficits, created a bubble, and the years of dealing with the consequences of the bubble created after 2001. what is needed right now is to stimulate the economy with investments in education, technology, and infrastructure. the u.s. government can borrow at close to a zero interest rate. the return on those investments, especially since we have under invested for the last decade, are very high. the result of higher return investments is more jobs to date and lower deficits tomorrow. >> yet you have in america and europe politicians across the board saying what we must not do is have any more spending at
all, no more momentum. we have christine lagarde or riding in an op-ed in tomorrow's financial times that it is the wrong strategy. we have to have government spending, or we will have a second recession. do you agree? >> we have to have spending. no doubt about it. we have tried these experiments before. even in a weak economy with deficits, if you cut the deficit by cutting back expenditures, the economy gets way down and the revenues go down with it. it doesn't improve the deficit, but it does increase unemployment. >> tomorrow we have angela michael and nicolas sarkozy meeting in europe. do you think they will make the right call? >> what is necessary is stronger commitment to the growth strategy. they recognize that greece, portugal, and ireland are not
going to get out of the mess they are in by just austerity. these countries need growth. europe is going to come to their assistance. it has not made a commitment of how much and how it will do that, but that is essential. now that the problem has spread to other countries like italy, will they be able to have that kind of growth strategy? or will they have the kind of austerity strategy that is not working in the u.k. and will not worked in italy and other countries? >> thank you very much for joining us. we have one final story for you tonight. it is being described as a once- in-a-lifetime event. the new zealand capital, in a city that rarely gets snow -- the snowstorm in wellington is the biggest in almost five decades. the blizzard has disrupted services across the island, including flight cancellations. that brings us to the end of